Cell Projects is an inventory of work that addresses my exploration of wonder, beauty, interconnectedness, reason, traits, evolution, healing, aging and death. Projects take form as monoprints, collages, artist books, portfolios and installations. This page begins with the projects’ backstory and early influences.
I began inventing imaginary life forms in 2016 to distract myself from making socio-political work, the focus of my work for the last 40 years. This biological focus eased my mind from politics and world strife.
The 48 page artist book Between the Burners marked a conceptual shift and media transition that influenced forthcoming Cell Projects. The books aim was to culminate a long history of issue based work. Conceptually, the book juxtaposed past political concerns with new issues facing society in the upcoming 2016 presidential election. Back burner issues collide with front burner issues exposing the vulnerabilities of concerns facing us with each four year election cycle. The work’s media transition was the introduction of print collage, specifically, repurposing and collaging older prints with new prints made specifically for the book.
While traveling abroad, I watercolored cellular inventions to relax and to focus my sketchbook work on celebrating life rather than on the dramas and contradictions of human behavior. Inspired by science writing and an impetus to explore living systems, biological focused projects soon occupied part of my art practice.
Earlier Influences, pre 2016
Earlier projects have influenced Cell Projects, conceptually and technically. Two are presented here.
Beginning in 2011, the Nests series employed experimental approaches using screen printing to repetitively print a single pattern into more complex circular structures. This project is significant as the process is a shift towards producing one-of-a-kind hand-pulled prints rather then editioning a numbered set of prints.
In 2014, Eric Kneeland and I screen printed directly on the gallery wall during the opening reception of Wabi Sabi: Impermanence, Imperfection, and the Accidental. The wall composition evolved on-the-spot from screens we brought to the event and from audience suggestions. This project contributed to allowing work to evolve without a master plan, embracing the evolution of work through performance, and acceptance of the consequences of experimentation.
The below Cell Projects began exhibiting in 2018. The impetus for each project appears on their individual project pages. Overall, individual cells developed through the planned and unplanned layering of screen printed ink, often with serendipitous and unintended results. The process was in search of new relationships with an understanding that the world is an expression of happenings, not things.
Visit links below to experience each project’s history.